What HE says to one, HE says to all.
Young Olaniyi was accompanying his grandmother to church as was his usual custom. He had something on his mind. Since he had been living with her he had noticed something unusual about her, something he didn’t see his parents do. So, with a childish approach he asked,
“Mama, what is this money for?”
The old woman thought of the best way to explain to the boy in the simplest form so his mind could comprehend something beyond his age, she came up with a simple explanation,
“it is the little part that makes the remaining part meaningful.”
Before summoning the courage to ask that question, the boy had watched the woman, time after time, package a part of her meagre earnings and drop it in the little church she attended. It baffled his mind. Why would this poor woman whose income wasn’t enough to cater for the needs of the two of them still drop something in church? He really couldn’t understand that folly – the whole money wasn’t even enough and yet she was throwing part of it away! But her explanation remained with him longer than the old woman would have expected.
Today, when he speaks to the tens of thousands of people who gather to hear him at the world’s largest single church auditorium, Bishop David Olaniyi Oyedepo shares the wisdom he learnt from his grand mother at that tender age. Its the story of how he first came to know what tithe is, the simplest way of explaining the mystery as that little part that makes the remaining part meaningful!
One particular sunday when I had packaged my tithe, in prayer I felt the Spirit of God, saying to me
“l am your source, not your job. I am your sustenance, not your salary.”
At that moment it jumped at me – the reason why some of us sometimes find it hard to pay our tithes, it is because we base our plans on our earnings. God is sometimes limited to our pay. Our little minds we can’t understand why we should dip our hands into our small pay when the total package isn’t even enough to settle the bills. And that’s just some people, some others, the ones who receive fat salaries want to hold unto it because they can’t part with something that large as tithe. They were faithful when the pay was slim but not now, the reason – gosh, this is just too big as tithe!
With all sense of humility, I consider myself a Bible scholar, but one thing you would rarely find me doing is engage in theological arguments. I stay away from them. So, I’m not here to argue on whether its theologically right to pay tithe or not. When it comes to tithe matters, I stand with the Nike brand slogan, I just do it. Jesus’ mother said in John 2: 5,
“…Whatsoever he tells you to do, do it.” And Jesus tells us in Mattew 23:23 to pay tithe. So, I just do it. And that’s because I see it as a way of acknowledging my source – the one from whom all blessings flow from, including the job that qualifies me for the pay. If we all put things in right perspective and see indeed that God is the source, not the job, that HE is our sustenance and not the salary, then maybe it will be easier to drop it at his feet.
Truly God is the source, 1 Corinthians 4:7 asks us all –
“What do you have that you did not receive?…” (NIV).
And, James 1:17 helps us in tracing where the gifts come from –
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father of the heavenly lights” (NIV).
The Yorubas say, “the stream that forgets its source dries of.” This is not a call to a religious rite, it is a call to acknowledge the source of our blessings. It is what I learnt at his feet and thought good to share with you, my good friend. Plus, there are mega profits in acknowledging God – He adds meaning to the other 90% so that you achieve more than you could ever achieve with the 100%. When we acknowledge HIM, that little part goes up to God as a sacrifice of sweet smelling savour and returns to make the remaining part meaningful. So, friend, remember to acknowledge the source always.